Showing posts with label Sorcery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sorcery. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2018

Witches, Wiccans, Warlocks and WITCHCRAFT

Witchcraft symbol
Witchcraft Symbol - Photo  by   quinet
Witchcraft and its origins can be traced back as far as 2000BC in Ancient Egypt and Babylonia were in existing records of the code of Hammurabi it says

If a man has put a spell upon another man and has not justified himself, he upon whom the spell is laid shall go to the holy river.

Persons who engage in witchcraft and who are male are called wizard, sorcerer and sometimes a warlock if they indulge in black magic. Females who indulge in witchcraft are called Wiccan or witches.

Witches are thought to worship the devil. They are portrayed to cast spells and use supernatural forces to cause havoc within the community.

In Britain during the late medieval / Early modern period, many women were killed during witch-hunts. They were accused of being witches and would be strapped to a dunking stool, and submerged in the local river or lake. If the woman dies, she was then proved not to be a witch. If she survived, it proved her guilt and she would be burned at the stake alive.

Of course, most of the alleged witches were, in fact, destitute old women with no family. They plagued the communities begging door to door for food and milk. They would often curse the households who wouldn't give them any food, to make them more generous when she next visited. But of course, this gave the local folk cause to try the old women for witchcraft.

The Wiccans, on the other hand, were herbalists of their time. They used plants to cure people and animals. However, the Wiccan was misunderstood and would often be accused of being a dark witch when patients under their care worsened or died. Sometimes they were also called witches when they healed the very sick.



The spell casting evilness traits of witches have always been used to scare young children, just look at the classic children's fairy tales. In Snowhite the wicked witch tries to kill her stepdaughter. She uses a spell to put Snowhite in a death like sleep. In the story of Hansel and Gretel, the evil witch likes to eat children. The mysteriousness of witches lends itself to creating chilling stories, and not just for children but adults too in the case of the Blare Witch Project.

Our fascination for witches and witchcraft is highlighted each Halloween when many people like to dress up as witches. Luckily they no longer try witches on dunking stools. But curiously, 'witches' do still go begging for food door to door 'Trick or Treating'.

    S. Roberts is a ghost hunter and medium extraordinaire. 
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Friday, August 31, 2018

SORCERY and WITCHCRAFT

Sorcery - animal transformation
Sorcery - animal transformation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sorcery occurs in almost every society in the world. And in my opinion, it is also the oldest and deepest element in the historical concept of witchcraft, which was formed out of pagan religion, folklore, Christian heresy, and theology. Like all magic, sorcery is based on the assumption that the cosmos is a whole and that hidden connections, therefore, exist among all natural phenomena. The sorcerer or sorceress attempts through their knowledge and power to control, or at least influence these connections in order to affect the practical results they desire.

Closely related to sorcery is divination, the determination of facts or prediction of future events on the basis of the secret links between humans on the one side, and herbs, stones, stars, sheep liver, and jackal tracks etc. on the other. In Europe, diviners entered a tradition that brought them close to high magic, while witchcraft took a different path.

The simplest sorcery is the mechanical performance of one physical activity in order to produce another, but the meaning of a given action varies among different societies. More complex sorcery goes beyond mechanical means and invokes the aid of spirits, but mainly the sorcerer or sorceress tries to compel, rather than to implore the powers that be to do their bidding. The thought processes of sorcery are intuitive rather than analytical. For example, they may derive from the individual's observations of single critical incidents. 

A critical incident is an emotionally charged experience. So in a state of anger or rage, you wish the death of someone you dislike immensely, and physically, for example, punch the wall, in imitation of a blow aimed against that person. When you find that this person has died suddenly you will probably feel guilty, even to the extent that it was you that caused their death, especially if you assume a universe of hidden connections and have beliefs in the concept of magic.

Sorcery beliefs may also arise from unconscious thoughts expressed in dreams and visions. In societies where dreams are taken seriously and distinctions between dream and physical reality are blurred, dreams and visions do have great power to persuade. In most societies, detailed sets of beliefs regarding sorcery are handed down by tradition and become part of the social and psychological systems of individuals. Those individuals will then all the more accept critical incidents and dreams as confirmation of these traditions.


Often sorcery has a function in society and in some, it is closely related to religion, say for instance a priest or priestess of a public religion may perform ritual acts to make rain, ripen the crop to harvest, or secure success etc. Then as long as they are public and social in intent then sorcery may be of a religion. But when the acts are performed privately for the benefit of individuals rather than of society, then they are antisocial and therefore do not form part of religion.

Usually, societies distinguish legally between public religious sorcery and private sorcery, approving the one and outlawing the other. And so the effects of sorcery are very real to those of us that truly believe in it.

Do you believe in sorcery and witchcraft? Or maybe you just have a fascination in which you would like to believe.



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Scottish SORCERY - WITCHCRAFT in Scotland

When you think "witch", what comes to mind? A wart faced old woman in a black dress with a broom? Actually, all it took was a birthmark or freckle, or singing and dancing outside, or simply someone's accusation that could have you executed as a witch.

Persecution of witches
Persecution of witches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although there have been stories of witchcraft since the beginning of time, persecutions didn't begin until the 1500s. The Witchcraft Act of 1563 made it illegal for anyone to be or consort with a witch. The first major persecution, the North Berwick Trials, began in 1590 with King James I and VI. Returning from Denmark with his new bride, a powerful tempest almost killed them. The King believed witchcraft was the cause of the storm and had nearly 100 people arrested. Many were tortured and burnt alive.

The Forfar Witch Hunt of 1661 and the Auldearn Trials of 1662 were prolonged by accusations made by "witches" in order to save themselves. At the Aberdeen Trials, 7 women were accused of using magic to murder others and using body parts from the victims to create potions. The Pittenween Trials of 1704 were based on the word of a 16 year old boy. Each of the accused was tortured. One was even crushed to death under large stones. It was later discovered that the boy had made it all up.

The Renfrewshire Trials of 1695 began when 11 year old Christian Shaw caught a housemaid drinking forbidden milk and threatened to tell her mother. The housemaid told the girl that the devil would take her to hell. Christian began having fits and visions, claiming that the maid was torturing her. She vomited up feathers, hay, wax, stones, even a hot coal. There were accounts of her floating around the room and moving things without touching them. She also accused several others of witchcraft. Over 20 men, women and children were imprisoned and examined by "witch prickers".
Several children and one minister were found dead on the morning of the trials. Fourteen of the charged were found not guilty. The remainder were hanged and burned. Christian was cured after the executions.

The Witchcraft Act was abandoned in 1736. It is estimated that over 4000 people were executed as witches in Scotland alone. Only 4 "witches" are recorded as being executed in Ireland, and only 3 in Wales. So for those of you with freckles or birthmarks (like myself), be thankful that things have changed!!

    Rauncie Kinnaird owns Kinnaird Bagpipes & Reeds specializing in Celtic jewellery, food, Guinness clothing, gift items, pipe band supplies and Highland dress including kilts and tartans. Sign-up for free articles on Celtic history and events at http://www.kinnairdbagpipes.com
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Monday, January 9, 2017

SCOTTISH SORCERY - Witchcraft in Scotland

When you think "witch", what comes to mind? A wart faced old woman in a black dress with a broom? Actually, all it took was a birthmark or freckle, or singing and dancing outside, or simply someone's accusation that could have you executed as a witch.

Persecution of witches
Persecution of witches (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although there have been stories of witchcraft since the beginning of time, persecutions didn't begin until the 1500s. The Witchcraft Act of 1563 made it illegal for anyone to be or consort with a witch. The first major persecution, the North Berwick Trials, began in 1590 with King James I and VI. Returning from Denmark with his new bride, a powerful tempest almost killed them. The King believed witchcraft was the cause of the storm and had nearly 100 people arrested. Many were tortured and burnt alive.

The Forfar Witch Hunt of 1661 and the Auldearn Trials of 1662 were prolonged by accusations made by "witches" in order to save themselves. At the Aberdeen Trials, 7 women were accused of using magic to murder others and using body parts from the victims to create potions. The Pittenween Trials of 1704 were based on the word of a 16 year old boy. Each of the accused was tortured. One was even crushed to death under large stones. It was later discovered that the boy had made it all up.

The Renfrewshire Trials of 1695 began when 11 year old Christian Shaw caught a housemaid drinking forbidden milk and threatened to tell her mother. The housemaid told the girl that the devil would take her to hell. Christian began having fits and visions, claiming that the maid was torturing her. She vomited up feathers, hay, wax, stones, even a hot coal. There were accounts of her floating around the room and moving things without touching them. She also accused several others of witchcraft. Over 20 men, women and children were imprisoned and examined by "witch prickers".

Several children and one minister were found dead on the morning of the trials. Fourteen of the charged were found not guilty. The remainder were hanged and burned. Christian was cured after the executions.



The Witchcraft Act was abandoned in 1736. It is estimated that over 4000 people were executed as witches in Scotland alone. Only 4 "witches" are recorded as being executed in Ireland, and only 3 in Wales. So for those of you with freckles or birthmarks (like myself), be thankful that things have changed!!

    Rauncie Kinnaird owns Kinnaird Bagpipes & Reeds specializing in Celtic jewellery, food, Guinness clothing, gift items, pipe band supplies and Highland dress including kilts and tartans. Sign-up for free articles on Celtic history and events at http://www.kinnairdbagpipes.com

    Article Source: EzineArticles


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